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Link between Indian monsoon rainfall and physical erosion in the Himalayan system during the Holocene

Abstract : Mineralogical and geochemical analyses conducted on cores located on the active channel-levee system of the northern Bengal Fan are used to establish changes in the weathering pattern and the sediment transport of the Himalayan system, and evaluate the effect of Indian summer monsoon rainfall during the Holocene. Our data indicate that during the Holocene, sediments from the northern Bengal Fan originate mainly from the G-B river system without any significant changes in the relative contribution of these rivers. From 9.8 to around 6 ka, relatively low smectite/(illite1chlorite) ratios and relatively high K/Si* ratios indicate high physical denudation rates of the Himalayan highlands together with a rapid transfer of the detrital material to the Bengal Fan. The period between 9.2 and 7 ka is associated to lower values of K/ Si* and corresponds to the maximum of Indian monsoon rainfall which indicates a more important chemical weathering material that rapidly transits by the G-B river system without a long storage in the Indo-Gangetic plain. From 6.0 ka to present day, higher smectite/(illite1chlorite) ratio and lower K/Si* ratio document a gradual increase of sediments originated from the Indo-Gangetic plain, characterized by higher degree of chemical weathering. During the last 2.5 ka, the drastic increase in the smectite/(illite1chlorite) ratio could be associated to enhanced alteration of the plain soils due to anthropogenic activity. The comparison of mineralogical and geochemical data with previous reconstructions of the Indian monsoon dynamic indicates a rapid response of erosion and sediment transfer of the G-B river system to changes of monsoon rainfall intensity.
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Ronan Joussain, Zhifei Liu, Christophe Colin, Stéphanie Duchamp-Alphonse, Zhaojie Yu, et al.. Link between Indian monsoon rainfall and physical erosion in the Himalayan system during the Holocene. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, AGU and the Geochemical Society, 2017, 18 (9), pp.3452 - 3469. ⟨10.1002/2016GC006762⟩. ⟨hal-01791077⟩



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